Lebanon could boycott Nines World Cup, admits Josh Mansour

Josh Mansour has admitted the Lebanon national team could withdraw from the Nines World Cup in October as they struggle to find common ground with the Lebanese Rugby League Federation.

The 29-year-old was sanctioned by the LRLF along with 16 other Cedars team-mates for the squad’s protest during the representative weekend. The players taped over the Lebanon badge in the build-up to their Test against Fiji.

Lebanon’s national players want local players to have a strong grassroots game in the country, but Mansour feels not enough is being done for rugby league in the nation by the governing body.

In conversation with NRL.com, Mansour revealed: “It doesn’t look like we’re reaching common ground.

“If it comes down to boycotting and not playing in the World Nines then I’m sorry but I will stand aside for that. At the moment we won’t be playing, we’re all suspended which is ridiculous.

“As players we don’t feel like we’re being fairly treated domestically and overseas. We’ve got players in Lebanon paying for full registration and getting old gear in return, just little things like that. That’s just scratching the surface.

“It’s disappointing to have to come into this mess but I have a lot of faith in what Lebanon can achieve in years to come. We’re in a battle at the moment and hopefully there can be a resolution.”

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